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At mobile event in Palo Alto, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces Places, Groups for iPhone and Android
Over 200 million people--a much bigger audience than that on either iPhone or Android exclusively--actively use Facebook across all its mobile platforms, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who spoke Wednesday morning at a mobile event on company headquarters in Palo Alto.
"The only platform bigger than us is the mobile Web itself," declared Zuckerberg triumphantly.
Around this time a year ago, only 65 million people used Facebook on mobile devices, meaning usage has tripled in that time.
Coinciding with the milestones, Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook for iPhone app will be adding Groups, the revamped feature that launched a month ago at another Facebook-hosted event. Places, the location check-in platform that Facebook added just two months ago, is also being updated with business deals (à la Yelp and Foursquare) and to let users add photos along with check-ins.
The Android Facebook app, which Zuckerberg readily admits has traditionally fallen behind the iPhone version, will receive Places and Groups updates sometime in the next two weeks.
When someone in the audience asked when the Facebook iPad app was coming, Zuckerberg said the iPad "isn't mobile. Sorry. It's a computer." His terse response garnered a chorus of oh's from the audience.
And for anybody who still thinks that Facebook is planning to launch a phone, Zuckerberg has just one word:
The biggest announcement of the day has to be the new deals feature in Facebook Places. Launching in the U.S. initially, the new Places lets local businesses offer special deals and discounts to customers who check in to their page on Facebook.
Facebook immediately offers up some stiff competition, with key launch partners like Gap, McDonald's, Starbucks, and many more. Gap, for example, is giving away a pair of blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers to claim the deal.
At the end of the event, Zuckerberg shared his key takeaway for the event and regarding the revolution in the social space, in general:
You can rethink any product area to be social, have it be a lot more engaging, have it grow virally, and remake whole industries. When you combine [social with mobile], it's a big opportunity for new companies to be built and industries to be disrupted.
So far, Facebook is proving this true every day.
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